Dress Like Magnum PI

How to Dress Like Magnum PI

I have always been a big fan of Magnum PI and I find the older I get, the more I find myself coming back to the series again and again. I think at some point in my youth, I determined that when I grew up, I would like to be Magnum. Sadly, the ship has sailed on most of the steps I would need to take to live a Magnum lifestyle. So what is a Magnum wannabe to do? They learn how to Dress like Magnum PI!

Sure, why not! You do not need the detective skills, combat training or exciting lifestyle when you have the gear to make you resemble the coolest private detective this side of Kauai. So here are my suggestions for dressing like Magnum.

The Shirt


What you need is a bold red Hawaiian shirt that worn in such a way that says local and mainland with just one look. You can get really close to the look of the original shirt with the Red Paradise Found Jungle Bird Red Aloha Shirt.

The Baseball Cap


Detroit Tigers of course….

If you are not a baseball fan, you could also pick of a replica of VM02 Da Nang hat that was worn on the show.

The Sunglasses


In early episodes of the show Magnum wore Vuarnet Skilynx Aciers, but those are very vintage and difficult to find nowadays. You could try for the later seasons’ Ray Ban Shooters, but for my money, if you are trying to pull off the Magnum look, I like the Glacier Mountaineering Sunglasses he wore when he was out Surf Skiing. Those are pretty difficult to find nowadays, but the Julbo Vermont Classic Sunglasses look like they would be a good substitute.

The Shorts


If you got the gams too pull them off, invest in a pair of UDT SEAL Swim Shorts in Khaki. They don’t leave much to the imagination, but what do you care….your Magnum!

The Watch


Magnum wore some pricey watches. I think the earlier season, Chronosport Sea Quartz 30, is the better looking watch, but good luck finding one.

The Shoes


When Magnum wasn’t wearing his “boat shoes”, he was ready for action in his Puma Men’s Easy Riders. They might look a little different today, but the Easy Rider has not changed much since the 1970s/1980s. If those classics aren’t available, check out this list of retro Pumas. Most of the classic Pumas will work for the Magnum look.

The “boat shoes” were Sperry Topsiders. I think the off-white ones he wore were called Seamates and in a few episodes he wore a Standard Brown Sperry Topsider.

The Weapon


Remember folks..shoot responsibly. But if you have to shoot, shoot like Magnum with the very cool Colt 1911 Government Model.

The Team Ring


I almost hate to mention it, because you really got to earn it to wear one, but the Ring worn by Magnum and his buddies has been recreated by a very talented jeweler. If you have the cash and really want to commit to the look, why not check it out.

The Mustache


Really none of these matter without the mustache. So make sure you have a quality Mustache Trimmer and if you are face follicley challenged remember there are alternatives.

Yes, there are a dozen other pieces you could add to your wardrobe or arsenal to make yourself more Magnum-ish, but this is a good start and will certainly get you looking like Magnum in your day to day life. Of course it helps if you live in an oceanfront house or drive a Ferrari, but with this gear you will be half way there for when Robin Masters finally calls you up.

If you just want to show your a fan, maybe you should just check out this very retro, Magnum P.I. Toys Chopper and Ferrari Gold T-Shirt, I am wearing mine right now.

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Garry Vander Voort

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
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12 thoughts on “How to Dress Like Magnum PI

  1. I tend to a agree about the chest hair, I just thought it was out of reach for some, so I did not include it. But if you can sport a luxurious man mane like Selleck, more power to you.

  2. Well, I don’t know if metagirl can pull of the awesome ‘stache, but perhaps they make those sweet Puma’s in ladies sizes. I don’t recommend the short-shorts for most men — or most women for that matter — but Magnum really pulled them off. Of course my favorite Magnum accessory is an Old Düsseldorf long-neck.

  3. vinvectrex says:

    No mention of the Ferari? While it would be the most expensive accessory, an early 1980s Ferari actually is more affordable than I might’ve thought. A cars.com search reveals a few early 80s Feraris for sale around the country – under $25k. Not bad if you’re comparing that to a luxury car – and you’re likely to get more attention in one.

  4. Richard Nicklin says:

    You mentioned the Puma’s but what were the boat shoes he wore? What brand were they? Dexter? Sperry? Anyone know?

  5. The boat shoes he wore were Sperry Top-siders. I think the white ones were called Seamates and the dressier ones he wore to the courthouse were a standard Top-sider. I added this info to the post. Thanks for pointing it out.

  6. Richard Nicklin says:

    Old Düsseldorf the beer that Magnum always drank, was this just made up for the
    show or was it ever real?

  7. And it also helps to have a Navy uniform handy. And your phone/iPod should always have the Magnum PI theme on it, just in case you need to jump into character. You just never know when that may happen!

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